Northern downtown is receiving a sparkling addition to its new courts complex: a massive artistic landmark of iridescent glass tiles on the structure's facade.
According to a news release, approximately 15,000 three-inch by three-inch dichroic glass tiles comprise the 623 square foot project, titled Desert Mosaic.
The iridescent glass changes colors and intensity depending on the lighting and vantage points. It is also highly reflective, multi-hued glass that is made in a process that was developed for the aerospace industry; the glass is thinly coated with laser-created metal oxides in a sealed chamber.
A County policy from 1990 requires one percent of a project's budget to be set aside for public art, normally a sculpture.
Under contract to Pima County, the Tucson-Pima Arts Council administered the $317,000 landmark, which will sit 48 feet above the court complex lobby floor. It will help visitors distinguish the new complex from the other facilities, including Superior Court, City Court and federal court.
"It also just brings an exciting sparkle to the space because of its energetic interplay of light," County Facilities Manager Reid Spaulding said.
Half of the tiles were put in place this week and the project is expected to be completed by the week of May 20.
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